A new study
, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, found that when it comes to same-sex couples, most Americans believe the “more masculine” partner and the “more feminine” partner should be responsible for stereotypically male and female chores. The study also found that people were more likely to consider there to be a distinct “man” and a “woman” in lesbian relationships than they were when it came to gay male couples. Probably, you know, because the idea of there being no male presence at all in a relationship is utterly unfathomable.
When evaluating same-sex couples, 62 percent of respondents expected the more feminine partner to attend to the physical needs of the children, and 60 percent believed the more feminine spouse should handle the emotional needs of the children, the researchers said. The findings for whether the more masculine or feminine partner should be the stay-at-home parent and be in charge of discipline were not statistically significant for same-sex couples.
“Sex was by far the strongest determinant of which tasks people assigned to each spouse in heterosexual couples,” Quadlin said. “But, surprisingly, that theme extended to same-sex couples. When there wasn’t a sex difference between partners, people relied on information about gender to guide their beliefs about what people should be doing. So, in other words, they took the heterosexual norm, where there are certain chores that men are expected to do and certain chores that women are expected to do, and used that same rationalization to determine household responsibilities for same-sex couples. We were surprised that happened to the extent that it did, because we thought expectations for household responsibilities would be more egalitarian between same-sex partners.”